Sources involved in the maritime border agreement talks with Lebanon have revealed that as part of the deal Israel has relinquished a substantial part of the disputed economic waters. According to the agreement, Israel will receive its demands of Line 1 between the coast and five kilometers at sea, and thereafter the Lebanese will receive their demand of Line 23.
In practice, Israel is relinquishing its claim to dozens of square kilometers of economic waters, which will be transferred to Lebanese control. The line of buoys will be recognized as the status quo for the maritime border and there will be no demands to change it unless a future agreement is reached between the countries. This clause could decide the Supreme Court ruling on whether the cabinet alone can approve the agreement, without Knesset approval. It is doubtful if the Supreme Court will agree to only cabinet approval.
It also seems that in addition to the agreement with Lebanon, Israel will receive a letter of guarantees from the US administration, making it clear that the US is committed to Israel’s security and economic rights in the event that Hezbollah, or another party, decides to challenge the agreement that will be signed. The basis of the letter is guarantees for the line of buoys as Israel’s line of defense and the protection of its economic rights of Israel in the Sidon reservoir, as well as preventing the revenues from the gas field from reaching Hezbollah, in accordance with the existing sanctions in force in the US.
Lebanon’s demand, which apparently has not been accepted, was to separate the completion of the negotiations for Israel’s compensation for the Qana-Sidon offshore gas reservoir, from the start of production in the field.
According to diplomatic sources, the agreement will bring with it regional strategic stability and it will allow Lebanon to build a rig, so that at the end of the day there will be two rigs opposite each other: on the Lebanese side and Karish on the Israeli side.
The agreement will also reduce Lebanon’s dependence on Iran and Hezbollah and will contribute to its stability. The money from the Lebanese production will not reach Hezbollah – due to clear US sanctions on this issue.
US president Joe Biden stresses: We are committed to Israel’s security and regional stability
US President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid yesterday and congratulated him on reaching the agreement on the Israel-Lebanon maritime border. Biden described the agreement as historic and very important for ensuring Israel’s security on the northern border, while it would strengthen the Israeli and Lebanese economies. äúøâåí àøåê îãé ìùîéøä
Lapid thanked Biden for his leadership and the US mediation in the talks with Lebanon and with the Israeli negotiating team. The Prime Minister expressed special appreciation to the American mediator, Amos Hochstein, for his hard work and effectiveness. A statement from Lapid’s office, said that Biden had emphasized to Lapid his commitment to Israel’s and regional stability. Biden had added that the ability of both of them to work together and reach an agreement was proof of the strong and unbreakable bond between the leaders and between Israel and the US.
Biden also spoke with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and congratulated him on reaching the agreement. In the called, he pledged that the US would guarantee the agreement’s implementation.
A US diplomatic source last night told reporters that the agreement guarantees the stability of the gas fields in the entire Eastern Mediterranean, and prevents potential conflicts.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on October 12, 2022.
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